Is Globalization the Culprit?

So, why are some countries becoming more nationalistic? Why are some countries following economic nationalism principles: USA, Russia, United Kingdom, are some examples. Why do countries think it is better to go it alone when the countries are operating in an increasingly interdependent global economy?  Why not cooperate with other countries? Is it because cooperation is not bringing the desired results fast enough?

Countries seem to becoming more nationalistic because globalization has had winners and losers and the losers are fed up with losing. Critics of globalization cite job loss as one of the negatives of globalization. It is a fact, some workers lose jobs because technological advances are replacing jobs and some jobs are not being filled because workers don’t want to adapt to technological changes or relocate. Another reason cited for the reason for job loss is immigration. Immigrants are taking jobs that could be filled by domestic workers. Another reason is the “hollowing out of manufacturing.” Companies that move manufacturing to other countries result in a loss of domestic manufacturing jobs. People are also upset with globalization because it has contributed to environmental degradation, human rights abuses-using minor workers, convicts, and slaves, underpaying workers, forcing workers to work in unsafe conditions etc., and loss of national sovereignty, giving up rights to follow domestic laws given up to supranational organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary fund, etc. For these reasons, the various categories of discontents opt to be more nationalistic.

While globalization has had many winners and losers, globalization has overall been very positive for business, for individuals, for countries. Globalization caused by the reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade, cooperation between countries to make agreements that facilitate trade between countries, technological advancements, such as the internet, deregulation creating a freer more capitalistic marketplace in domestic economies, and privatization that increases competition in capitalist economies have contributed to an increase in jobs and quality of life around the world. Overall, globalization has had far more winners than losers. But nationalism seems to focus on the negatives or failures of globalization. Nationalists would like to rid themselves of the losers while hoping to keep the positives of the winners.

On the positive side, globalization has resulted in increases in trade between countries and increases in foreign direct investment since World War II. Several multilateral agreements put together since World War II had the purpose of getting countries to work together to reduce conflict and was based on the basic political science theories such as, Interdependence Theory, which focuses on cooperation between countries and describes cooperation between countries in such organizations as the European Union and NAFTA as well as other political science ideas and theories that predicted that cooperation between countries would reduce conflict and the likelihood of war when countries focus on economic cooperation and trade to enhance the quality of life.

To benefit the most from globalization, countries have to depend on each other. Then need to cooperate with each other. And the world is increasingly interdependent. No country can operate by itself. Countries depend on each other for natural resources, for human resources, for financial resources, for technology, etc.

About Dr. Ian Gladding

Dr. Ian V. Gladding is Director of the Lewis University International Business and Contemporary Global Studies Program

2 thoughts on “Is Globalization the Culprit?

  1. Rinn
    May 9, 2018 at 10:26 am

    This article frustrates me. It seems to read like this:

    – These bad things about globalization are making countries consider and/or adopt more isolationist policies.
    – But look at the good stuff about globalization!
    – We should continue to globalize!

    Might I proffer as a disinterested observer that the “bads” of globalization are actually driven BY capitalism (slave labor, cheaper manufacturing opportunities in other countries, hiring whoever will work for the lowest wage, and people moving to seek better opportunities for themselves and their families, to humbly paraphrase)?

    And if capitalism, not globalization, is the source of the “bads” as well as the “goods” … could we have a discussion about the humanitarian ramifications of the latter?

    1. Ray
      May 27, 2018 at 6:56 am

      I wouldn’t be so quick as to blame Capitalism, in my mind the ailments of the world stem from governments lying to the societies they represent and people basically lying to themselves. Everything is coated with a thick sugar coat of liberalism, but it is an empty concept by now – so, frustrated societies take a hard right turn, and believe me it’s only getting worse.

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